Bboxx has partnered with Solar Sister, a clean energy and women’s empowerment network operating in several African markets, to implement and accelerate the provision of solar energy to off-grid areas across Nigeria.
Solar Sister has been active across Sub-Saharan Africa since 2010 and opened its first Nigerian office in Lagos in 2014. Since then, they have reached over 500,000 Nigerians in rural areas, providing them with access to clean energy and cookstoves. They recruit, train and support female entrepreneurs, helping them to build businesses and bring clean energy into their communities. Across the continent, over 5,800 Solar Sister entrepreneurs have supplied energy solutions to 2 million people, with major projects taking place in Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and net exporter of energy resources, pumping out close to 2 million barrels of crude oil every day. This accounts for 86 per cent of Nigeria’s total export revenue and approximately 10 per cent of its total GDP. While this abundance of natural resources has provided Nigeria with the foundations to industrialise and diversify their economy, 60 per cent of Nigerians are without access to electricity, and this figure is as high as 90 per cent in rural areas.
Furthermore, such a high reliance on fossil fuel exports has significantly hampered Nigeria’s transition to a green economy. In the most recent Environmental Performance Index (EPI) global ratings, Nigeria scored 28.3 out of 100, placing it 162nd out of the ranking of 180 countries. Daily dependence in rural areas on firewood, charcoal, and kerosene lamps for cooking and lighting can cause chronic respiratory and vision problems. With women often expected to take on domestic roles, this burden falls unevenly on them.
Bboxx will provide Solar Sister with its entry-level clean energy product, Flexx10, following the successful launch of its entry-level brand Flexx by Bboxx earlier this year. The new brand aims to offer energy solutions for millions of people at the bottom of the energy pyramid, enabling Bboxx to serve members of the rural population they had not reached previously, unlocking even more potential. This is central to Bboxx’s mission to solve energy poverty, in line with the UN’s SDG7 – clean energy for all. Solar Sister will use their extensive distribution networks in Nigeria to service the target regions with these products using their local female workforce.
By providing an essential service, while also empowering women to become business leaders and advocates of sustainability, the partnership will deliver enduring benefits to the rural communities of Nigeria as well as supporting women’s elevation in societies with low levels of female representation in positions of leadership. This is in line with the UN SDG5 promoting gender equality, and UN SDG8, encouraging inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.
This partnership marks the start of a long-term relationship between Bboxx and Solar Sister, with the joint aim of combining forces in other African markets in the future. Bboxx remains committed to transforming lives and unlocking potential through access to energy.